Election 2019: Riverhead Town Board candidates

Town Board

Four-year term, two open seats

Salary: $48,955

Tim Hubbard

Hamlet: Riverhead
Occupation: councilman, retired police officer
Party lines: Republican, Conservative

About him: Mr. Hubbard, 59, was elected to the board in 2015 after incumbent Republican Councilman George Gabrielsen decided not to seek reelection.

A Riverhead native, he graduated from Riverhead High School and was a Riverhead Town police officer for 32 years, retiring as a detective. He was involved with the Juvenile Aid Bureau and the Police Athletic League while on the force.

Mr. Hubbard also was a member of the Eastern Suffolk BOCES Advisory Board, a member of the Board of the Directors of the Riverhead Police Benevolent Association, and was elected to and served on the Riverhead Board of Education for several years.

His pitch: Mr. Hubbard supports the EPCAL deal with CAT, after initially voting against it. He cited the three companies that appeared before the Town Board at a recent work session, saying they are interested in locating at EPCAL.

Mr. Hubbard feels the additional 1,000 acres thrown into the deal by former supervisor Sean Walter should not have been included in the sale agreement.

In his words: “In my first four years on the board, I stand very strong and proud on my record.”

Frank Beyrodt

Hamlet: Baiting Hollow
Occupation: farmer, businessman
Party lines: Republican, Conservative

About him: Mr. Beyrodt, 52, is an owner of DeLea Sod Farms, a past president of the Long Island Farm Bureau and a member of the board of directors of Island Harvest food bank.

DeLea Sod Farm provides sod to both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. The company is 91 years old.

Mr. Beyrodt has also been involved in Riverhead Town’s sub-committee on the transfer of developments rights program.

He has a degree from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business and earned a master’s degree from CW Post.

His pitch: Mr. Beyrodt has supported the town’s plans to sell 1,643 acres of land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton to Calverton Aviation & Technology, saying the town needs jobs. He has voiced concerns about changing the zoning in downtown Riverhead, saying that investors interested in building in downtown need to have confidence that the town won’t change the zoning. He feels it is very important that the town get its TDR program back on track.

In his words: “My qualifications and background are unique. My years of advocacy for the farm community and, of course, for the hungry on federal, state and local levels has put me in touch with a lot of people. With everything I have in my bag of tricks, I want to be the person to stand up for the people of this town and thrust it forward.”

Diane Tucci

Hamlet: Riverhead
Occupation: business owner, volunteer
Party lines: Democrat, Independence, Working Families

About her: Ms. Tucci has volunteered to organize events in Riverhead like the Halloween Festival parade and coffin race and Alive on 25 and previously served as executive director for both the Riverhead Business Improvement District and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce. She owns a marketing business in downtown Riverhead, is vice president of the Riverhead Middle School PTO, and has volunteered with the Boy and Girl Scouts.

She was formerly director of marketing for the Suffolk Theater and is a single mother of three. She also serves on Riverhead’s downtown revitalization committee.

Her pitch: Ms. Tucci feels the town has no role in immigration issues and cannot put pressure on the school district to say who is attending the school. She feels illegal and overcrowded housing is a “one of the hottest topics in our town right now” and that the town needs to “get everybody in a room” to discuss it and come up with a solution.

“Once we start cracking down, I’m all for it,” she said. “I don’t think it should be profitable for a landlord to have these unsafe homes in our town.”

Ms. Tucci supports the downtown “pattern book” and says it will help developers and “show what downtown could look like” and will reflect community input.

As for EPCAL, she feels there are a lot of questions and that whether she supports it depends on whether CAT lives up to its promises.

In her words: “My track record tells you that I can step in, start working right away and get things done for us all.”

Patricia Snyder

Hamlet: Riverhead
Occupation: retired executive director, teacher
Party lines: Democrat, Independence, Working Families

About her: Ms. Snyder is a former executive director of East End Arts and was its education director before that. She is also a former teacher, PTO president and Girl Scout leader.

She says that shortly after becoming executive director at EEA, she “discovered the power of the arts to be, not only a community builder, but also an economic driver.”

Her pitch: She feels the town needs to hold onto the 1,000 acres at EPCAL, and she opposes the five-story buildings in downtown Riverhead.

In her words: “I had a good opportunity to work with people in the community and I want to continue to do that. I’m not going into politics because I want to be a politician. That’s never been my driving force. My driving force is that I know I have the skills to be a good town councilwoman.”

William Van Helmond

Hamlet: Jamesport
Occupation: business owner, civic leader
Party line: Libertarian

About him: Mr. Van Helmond is president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association and owns a landscaping company, WCVH Services. He has been involved with a number of civic organizations, including as EPCAL Watch, served on the board of Vail-Leavitt Music Hall and was involved in renaming South Jamesport Avenue for NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen, who was killed in action in Queens.

His pitch: Mr. Van Helmond has been critical of the height of buildings in downtown Riverhead, calling it “out of character” with the areas. He also feels that companies should not be given multiple tax abatements for the same project.

He feels the EPCAL deal should be more transparent and feels the additional 1,000 acres should not be included in the deal, unless the town is compensated.

In his words: “I feel that as a reformer, I tend to work with the people I’m surrounded by and I try to make unity and create respect in every organization I’ve been in.”